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NCJ Number: 174906 Find in a Library
Title: Hamilton County Corrections
Journal: American Jails  Volume:11  Issue:5  Dated:November/December 1997  Pages:55-58
Author(s): J M Schmitz
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article traces the history of Hamilton County's (Cincinnati, Ohio) correctional facilities from its first jail built in 1793 to its current facilities (1997).
Abstract: In 1861 the county constructed its fourth in a sequence of jails that had outlived their usefulness. Five years later, on March 9, 1866, the city of Cincinnati passed a resolution that directed the committee on police, city prison, and workhouse to select a site and have plans and estimates made for the erection of a city prison and workhouse. Early annual reports show the city took pride in the fact that the workhouse could keep inmates occupied and provide significant benefits to the city through community service projects, particularly in the development and upgrading of the city park system. In 1908 the Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution to replace the county jail built in 1861; a new courthouse and county jail were completed in October 1919, with the jail being on the sixth and seventh floors of the courthouse. At about the same time, the State legislature passed laws that prohibited inmates from working in private industries. This led to the eventual closing of the workhouse and the transfer of all prisoners to the new county jail. The workhouse reopened in 1926 due to overcrowding at the jail. In 1981 the county began planning for a new jail to replace both the workhouse and the county jail. In August 1985 the Sheriff's Office opened the Hamilton County Justice Center; however, since the justice center was designed with a capacity of 848 and the county's inmate population exceeded 1,200, both the workhouse and the old county jail remained open. In 1989 the county contracted with a private vendor to renovate an eight-story warehouse for use as a minimum-security jail; it opened in 1991 as a direct supervision, dormitory-style minimum security jail with a capacity of 822. All sections of the workhouse were finally closed in June 1991. A treatment facility near the justice center and a workhouse in Dayton received the inmates from the workhouse. The jail on top of the courthouse was closed in January 1993, except for the court holding cells. Additional housing units in the justice center were double-celled to replace the beds lost with the closing of the courthouse jail.
Main Term(s): Correctional facility transitions
Index Term(s): Jail management; Jails; Ohio; Prison construction
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